Scuba Diving in the Calgary area


I remember driving from Calgary to Kelowna shortly after I was certified as an Open Water Diver, here in our very own Lake Chaparral. Each body of water that I passed on the way, yes even the pond at the top of Scott Hill, helped me to realize the vast world that I had been privileged to experience. I realized that I could throw on my gear any time I pleased and descend into the depths, or lack of, to see what lay at the bottom of each and every one of these ponds, lake or streams. The only thing that limited me would be my training. I knew then and there that I would become a lifelong student of the subject of Scuba Diving!

That brings me to the blog for today, Scuba Diving in the local area.

How many of you have mentioned to your non-diving friends that you are going diving this weekend? Usually they have some type of comment about how lucky you are to be off on another tropical location! The look of complete disbelief on their faces when you tell them that you are actually just going to load up your gear and head out to Kananaskis or the Banff area is usually priceless.

The next question that they usually ask is, “Isn’t it freezing?”

We all know that our local diving poses a few temperature challenges and often visibility isn’t great but Hey! We’re hardy Canadian divers! Give us a puddle and we’ll find a way to make it an interesting dive.

The geologic formation or the manmade structures make for some really interesting dives. Then there are the trout and snails we get to see! And sometimes you can even see some “freshwater coral”, although it isn’t really coral but stromatolite formations.

Learn something about the earths history by reading up on the geology of the area that you are planning to dive in and then go see it for yourself.

Some (and I am sure not all) of our local dive sites are listed below. For more information you can check out a really informative book, Diving Southern Alberta, written by one of our very own local divers, William M. Hall. Bill is one of our most seasoned local divers and has compiled his years of local diving into this book.

Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park

Minnie is arguably the most popular local dive site offers 3 different shore diving sites and one accessible by boat or a long dpv dive. Two Jack is at the end of a canal coming from Minnie and has 2 popular shallow dives, the riverbed and the bowl.

Forget-Me-Not Pond, Kananaskis –

Crystal clear, shallow dive with a mesmerizing “moonscape” bottom. A favourite for night dives.

Spray Lakes Reservoir and Canal, Canmore –

One of the few lakes in Alberta that you can drift dive is in the Canal! Divers with Cave Diving certification and experience can try the Whiteman’s Tunnel.

Bow River Hole & The Zoo Hole –

The Bow River Hole or the Prince’s Island Hole is located at the western end of Princes Island. It doesn’t have alot of depth but you can often find large burbot and trout at the bottom of the hole, along with other debris which has been washed downstream into the hole.

The Zoo Hole is found off St. Georges Island near the zoo parking lot and is quite similar to the Bow River Hole.

Waterton Lakes –

A bit farther from home but still a favourite amongst local divers, Waterton offers 2 main dive sites with numerous dive possibilities. This lake even has a wreck!

While not all lakes are listed here, these are probably the most popular for ease of access and are representative of what local diving has to offer.

You can check out the Alberta Underwater Councils website for a comprehensive listing  albertaunderwatercouncil.com, or call us for more information. 403-299-7751